New genetic mutations can lower heart attack risk

4 February 2015

Two new genetic mutations have been identified that work together to lower a person's risk of heart attack, research has found.

Researchers from Ohio State University focused on a gene called DBH, which regulates an enzyme involved in the conversion of dopamine to norepinephrine. On their own, each variant has a minimal or undetectable effect on the gene's impact on disease risk. However, when they came together, their interaction substantially reduced DBH gene levels. This creates conditions in the body that protect against a heart attack.

The team compared the genetic variants causing a drop in gene expression using data from clinical records of three groups of patients. Across all participants, patients with the two variants had a two to five-fold lower risk of having a heart attack, while around a fifth of the general population carrying both.

"Our goal is to find genetic variants in key genes that are important medically and important for designing more efficient drug therapies," said Wolfgang Sadee, professor of pharmacology and director of the Center for Pharmacogenomics at Ohio State University and senior author of the study.

The research is published in the journal Circulation Research.

Posted by Philip Briggs 

Health News is provided by Adfero in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is ©Adfero Ltd. and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated. Additional comments on the page from individual Spire consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other consultants or Spire Healthcare.

Find a treatment, test or scan available at:


Find a consultant

Use one or more of the options below to search for a consultant and link through to view their Spire profile.


Let us help you

fill out this form and we will get back to you:

Please select a hospital

We can call you

Please enter your details below and we will call you back.

What is the aim of your enquiry?

Please select a hospital

If we are unable to reach you by phone, please include your email address so that we can get in touch...



© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)